R2's dome has been safely stored on a top shelf in the corner of my garage. Well ... I thought safe. Never expected spiders to be detrimental to the dome. Lately I have just let the spiders hang out in my garage because they really didn't bother me even though I particularly do not like spiders.
So when I retrieved my dome from where it was sitting the last 6 months, I noticed a bunch of small black bumps all over the top of the dome. Right under where several spiders were living ! Now it wouldn't be so bad if I could have just cleaned it off. Only this stuff was like the spiders were crapping black epoxy. Even with steel wool it's proving to be difficult to remove. I take this as an act of war and the spiders drawing first blood. So by the end of the day I predict the spider population will be dramatically decreased around here.
But the really really good news is that http://Astromech.net is back online and completely redesigned. For anyone interested in building an R2 joining astromech.net is a definite MUST.
Today I found a great tip on astromech.net with a picture suggesting where to trim aluminum skins to accommodate the utility arms without binding. So they were trimmed today with my handy dremmel. I also cleaned up the skins and using steel wool and a file to remove remnants of the gorilla glue that I used (not recommended) to laminate the skins. Today some of the skin inserts will also be glued to the skins where opening panels are not necessary. Probably will only have several panels with hinges on the skins and dome.
Oh and we're back early from the Disney trip. All I'll say is it didn't turn out well and I went from being "Mr. sensitive guy" to residing in the doghouse in an instant.